Anticipation and excitement were just two words to describe the atmosphere around the T-Mobile Arena following Anthony ‘Rumble’ Johnson’s 13 second knockout against Glover Teixeria.
This is the fight that UFC fans around the world have been waiting for. Nate Diaz may have won the first battle, but certainly not the war. During the pre-fight press conference, Conor McGregor made everyone aware that this fight would be a trilogy, before the exchange of water bottles.
Very different from last time, this time round both fighters had a full training camp, whilst McGregor went in search for his much-needed revenge after losing his last bout following a second round submission.
McGregor walks out to Biggie, Diaz to Tupac
At 0445 BST, all eyes descended onto the Octagon in Las Vegas. McGregor looked calm and composed as he entered, whilst Diaz entered the cage focused – much like his opponent.
There’s no doubt that these two fighters despise each other. Following what happened at the press conference, Las Vegas Police Department had a place on stage during the weigh-ins, whilst a line of officials split the Octagon in two as the fighters were announced.
Conor McGregor the early aggresor
As many people thought he would, McGregor opened up with leg kicks after success in the first fight between the pair. The Irishman then landed a left-hook before tagging him with a straight left that saw Diaz fall to the floor.
Diaz checked just one leg kick from McGregor in the first round, who was timing them well after the Stockton native pulled away on the exit of his punches.
A trilogy in the making
Just like the first fight went, Diaz started to bruise very easily, which saw McGregor land two punches in the second round, resulting in Nate falling down on both occasions, with referee John McCarthy ordering Diaz to get up.
McGregor responded with another devastating combination, but it’s Diaz who just shaded the second round as Nate sensed the Irishman backing off before putting further pressure on him as the tides turned.
Too little too late for Nate Diaz
Diaz knew he had McGregor on points following the end of round three as he points and smiles at him. McGregor backed off as Diaz went pressing. The duo were in the clinch for much of the third against the fence, before Diaz landed a left knowing that McGregor was tiring. Towards the end of the third, Diaz landed a flurry of punches, but it’s the hooter that saved McGregor in round three.
As the two fighters entered the championship rounds, Diaz received another nasty cut below his left eye, whilst he had a trouble seeing. Nate tried going for the takedown in the fourth round, but McGregor defended well as Diaz led on punches landed.
Diaz tagged McGregor yet again, but it was the Irishman who was landed the heavier punches. This fight certainly showed why the UFC is now worth $4 billion as the two went into the fifth round, with McGregor never going the distance in MMA.
Heading into the fifth, McGregor showed that he had been working on his takedown defence as Diaz failed to complete just one. The Notorious started to tire past the midway point in the fifth and final round as Diaz started to control once again.
Diaz finally got his takedown but it was a little too late with 15 seconds left on the clock, which saw McGregor clinch victory with a majority decision.